artwork: ralph murre
by Margaret Hasse
Two-year-old Charlie loves water,
loves the force of water
in gutters, pipes, the second hose
bought to keep peace between brothers
who spray tomatoes with the intensity
of fire fighters at a five alarm fire,
loves the sources of water:
faucet, penis, rain, spit.
He longs like a pilgrim for wet places
where his worship is
bathtub, swim pool, lake.
To praise water,
he secludes himself in the bathroom.
Ascending a stepping stool to the sink,
he opens valves to an endless rush
of new pressure in copper pipes.
So much water, why not share it?
Give it away until it seeps
through the floorboards,
showers into the kitchen,
fills the bowls on the table,
flows on the heads
of his amazed mother and brother
who do not immediately recognize
that grace might descend like this –
from a complete enthusiast
who needs to be forgiven
for being generous
with whatever he loves.
~ previously published in Milk and Tides (Nodin Press)